CDP Wayback Machine – Homecoming Edition.

Wayback Machine - Homecoming Edition.

One year ago this week, I published ‘The Homecoming Quadrilogy,‘ a 4-part essay documenting my Homecoming dance as a High School Junior in 1998. Since then, the essay has been the source of numerous e-mails and links from blogs all over the nation. In fact, the Quadrilogy in question earned itself the #6 spot in the CDP Top 30 Posts Of All Time. Not too shabby, considering that Post #600 is right around the corner.

Because it’s been exactly a year since the debut of this essay, along with the fact that Homecoming is taking place in High Schools all over the country, I wanted to once again share it with new and old CDP readers alike. So sit back, relax and breathe in one of the most bizarrely memorable nights of my entire life, published in its complete, 4-part entirety (along with the old CDP logo!). You’ll thank me later.

-theCDP.

Love Tha' Player, Hate Tha' Game.
PART I – “Love Tha Playa’, Hate Tha Game.”

I walked into the Spring Homecoming dance alone, but I was planning on leaving a man.

True, I had no date and arrived with a bunch of better-looking people who did, but that was all sure to change, because tonight was the night! This was the night that I shed my inhibitions and stopped listening to common sense and reason.

No longer would I be the nice guy, the PG-rated guy. The guy that the ladies would talk to when their boyfriends were being selfish and unfaithful, only to leave me for their arms when I quelled their salty tears. No way. From now on, I would be the guy who did the dishing out and taking, and women would line up in front of me, begging to be stepped on and hurt again. My high school legacy had just begun, and I knew I had an opportunity to write it as I pleased.

The night belonged to me!

I was mentally and physically prepared to rule that night. My super-tight, tapered slacks subtly led your eyes up to my oversized beige blazer, sporting shoulder pads large enough to be endorsed by the Miami Dolphins very own Larry Csonka (Super Bowl VIII MVP; ‘you’ve been czonked!’). A simple black t-shirt underneath said, ‘I’m trying, but not hard enough to look sad and desperate.’

Topping off the ensemble was my not-so-secret weapon, six tablespoons of Old Spice, strategically dallopped and slathered in various locations on my body.

I reeked. I also looked sad and desperate.

This night also predated my 5-year stint with braces, mind you, so my teeth looked as if they were retreating from the front of my mouth, turning inward and making a beeline for my uvula. I was drenched in flop sweat before I even walked into the dimly-lit gymnasium, and it was 40 degrees out. My finely-groomed group started to congregate and form a semi-circle near some bleachers, while I began the hunt for the woman that would change my life.

Love Tha' Player, Hate Tha' Game.

The night was no less than 10 minutes old, and I was about to get the crap beaten out of me.

I ran into a female friend whom I shared a spot with on the school bus. Living in a small town 30 minutes from school, you had no choice but to ride the bus until you got your driver’s license. This girl, who we’ll call ‘Sadie,’ had brought along a friend from another school; we’ll call her ‘Marie.’ Sadie introduced me to Marie and the three of us started talking. Sadie was nice like that; always looking for someone to set me up with, and Marie was right in my wheelhouse. Why me and Sadie never hooked up was pretty obvious, considering that she smoked more weed than Woody Harrelson at Burning Man. No, thank you.

Knowing that Marie had absolutely no idea who I was, I used this time to try out my newfound attitude towards the art of seduction. I told her I played guitar and was an accomplished songwriter; perhaps I’d write something for her someday. She giggled and brushed against my blazer, her eyes lighting up like a Christmas tree as I continued to lie through my crooked teeth. I was definitely on to something. I could see a very short, awkward and dishonest future with her, and I was okay with that.

After chatting for a few minutes, someone else needed my attention for a bit, so I excused myself from Sadie and Marie, making sure to let Marie know how much of a pleasure it was to meet her. I turned to step away when Marie grabbed me by the arm and spun me back around. ‘Where’s my hug?’ she asked, eyes glistening. Amazed at how quickly this new method was working, I gave Marie a most tender hug and swaggered away, confident there was nothing that would keep me from the prospect of more hugs in the future.

It felt good.

Love Tha' Player, Hate Tha' Game.

I went over to talk to the person who requested my attention; a girl we’ll call ‘Becky.’ Becky had lost one of her high-heels, as one of my friends thought it would be a witty jest to hide it on her. She wanted to know if I had seen it, and I told her I would look around. I walked around the perimeter of the gym, pushing around chairs and bending under tables. Eventually, I found her lonely shoe under the chair of a huge man I had never seen before. My school was rather small; we all knew everyone, and this guy certainly wasn’t from around here. He looked like Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura, and was very mad for some reason.

‘Excuse me,’ I said, ‘Can I grab that shoe from under your chair?’

Just then, I realized why this guy looked so big. It was because he was sitting on some guy’s lap. Someone even larger than him; and he was being restrained. Poorly.

‘You’re f***ing dead! DEAD!’ He screamed, as the man under him kept a tight bear hug on his frame. The angry guy squirmed and swung for a few seconds before the guy restraining him said to me, ‘Go dude, just go!’

For a few seconds, I didn’t even realize that the guy was yelling at me; it just didn’t make any sense for some reason. I quickly kicked the shoe out from under the chair and got the hell out of there. I got about five steps away when I heard more commotion. It was the big guy dragging the angry guy out of the gym, still furious and more than ready to crack me like an egg.

That’s when it all hit me like a high-heel to the face. I had been played like a fiddle.

You see, that was Marie’s boyfriend. Knowing full well that he was watching her from afar after a fight they had, she used me to get back at him; flirting and hugging me solely to piss him off and send him into a textbook rage. Her and Sadie had set the whole thing up; laughing at my stupid jokes, nodding at each well-placed lie. I knew it was too good to be true, but I didn’t listen to my gut and I almost got killed because of it.

Look no further for proof that women are messed right the hell up. Instead of just telling him that she was mad and running the risk of ruining the night for herself, she ruined the night for two guys instead, one of them a completely innocent bystander. That’s not even close to cool, and I would never do that to anyone.

Then again, was I really all that innocent? After all, I did lie to her about almost everything. While trying to remain in charge of a courtship through dishonesty and hormone-driven motives, I got strung along and hung out to dry like millions of other losers just like me. I deserved it; it scared me straight. If women are messed up, it’s because men lead them to it.

I was shaking in fear for the next 15 minutes, looking over my shoulder and asking anyone who would listen to check and see if the guy had left. To be entirely honest, my night of manly retribution and female attraction wasn’t going as well as I hoped, but the night was just getting started.

At least I got Becky’s shoe back.

J. Crew & The Mystery Girl.
PART II – “J.Crew & The Mystery Girl.”

Still reeling from getting wretchedly betrayed (and almost killed) earlier on in the night, I kept a low profile for about an hour, chatting with close friends and wiping tears away with my oversized blazer. I didn’t dance too much, for fear prospective dates would notice the huge pee stain that had been forming since that big guy yelled at me. I refused to stand in any open spaces or under any lights, certain in my neurosis that Nutass Boyfriend Rage-aholic would lunge from the shadows, John Rambo-style, slitting my throat with ninja-like precision and malice.

This was simply no way to live.

After all, this was supposed to be my night! I was supposed to arrive and emerge as a contender from a sea of pretenders, making a stand and acting like the straight guys do in John Hughes’ movies. If there’s one thing that 80’s teen films have taught us, it’s that what happens at a High School dance will have a direct emotional effect on the rest of your waking life; perhaps even beyond the grave. I needed to make sure my chance counted.

My only chance at succeeding tonight would have to be at the innocent mercy of a woman who was fortunate enough to not already know who I was. Most of the women at my school already crossed me off the big list of prospective mates in their mind many, many years ago. In the fifth grade, I accidentally wore my mom’s blouse to school in what would be remembered as a tragic laundry mix-up of epic proportions. Since then, most people, teachers especially, looked at me a little cockeyed. In addition to that, my best friend all through middle school was a bona fide homosexual, so the deck has always been stacked against me when it came to being taken seriously as a man.

J. Crew & The Mystery Girl.

Across the dark gym, on the other side of the dance floor, my mystery girl sat by herself. I had been watching her for most of the night, and she looked absolutely beautiful. I had seen her once or twice during school, but never enough to form a solid opinion of her. She normally wore hooded sweatshirts and baggy jeans; tonight she was simply radiant.

As if her dress wasn’t perfect enough, she was proudly sporting a cast on her broken arm, which she had meticulously decorated in a sparkly magenta. The 30 feet between us might as well have been a black hole full of pudding and sharks; there was no way I could muster the balls to approach someone like her for no good reason.

‘Why don’t you ask her to dance?’ said ‘Vinny,’ a male friend of mine, as I stared off into space; thumping bass and strobe lights pounding in my head.

‘Why don’t you?’ was all I could muster. To this day, I still can’t think of a better comeback. Although, ‘Why don’t you go to hell?’ comes pretty close. I was a little touchy at that point in my life.

I wasn’t one of those guys. I wasn’t a guy that thought so highly of himself to ask a stranger to dance and get away with it. I thought it was rude and arrogant, and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

‘Fine, I’ll ask her myself,’ Vinny responded, who was certainly one of those guys. It always worked for him, too, which bothered the living hell out of me. I grabbed him by the shirt half a step later.

‘You can’t ask her to dance,’ I said. ‘She’s mine.’

Vinny put his hands on my shoulders and looked me square in the eye. He only did that to me when he had something very important to say, or when he was about to knee me in the testicles. I got into the habit of bracing for impact no matter what.

‘Listen dude, you’re probably not going to get a chance like this again. She’s sitting over there all by her damn self; just ask her if she wants to dance. Look, if it’ll make you feel better, there’s a girl I’ve been meaning to ask, too. If you promise to go over and ask her, I’ll do the same thing. On the next slow song, we swarm like locusts. Deal?’

Such men we were, daring each other to ask women to dance. I couldn’t believe we hadn’t already been scooped up by some bikini sorority cult.

J. Crew & The Mystery Girl.

After a couple numbers, a slow song started to waft through the speakers and into the gym, as Vinny and I looked at each other with wide, non-gay eyes. This was it. We nodded without words and went our separate ways, as couples started to meld together like cells in a Petri dish.

She was still sitting where she had been for the whole night, looking rather bored and despondent. Her hair was curled yet silky; reflecting off of the lights like something straight out of a putrid shampoo commercial. Her sparkly cast bounced light around like a disco ball. I swallowed hard, shook my head in disbelief, and started walking through the crowd to get to her.

The dancefloor was packed with swaying people who already had dates, already were happy. ‘Jerks,’ I thought to myself, ‘every last one of ’em,’ even as I was moving heaven and earth to join the ranks of the taken. I pushed, shoved and said ‘excuse me’ about a dozen times before I made it to the other side of the gym, losing sight of her and doubting my every step. I looked left and right, trying to remember where she was sitting.

She was gone, for the moment. The song was half-over at this point.

My friend was right; I stalled and lost my chance. That was my one big moment to meet her, and it was over. My big night of becoming the jerk I always hoped I’d be was going over about as well as a concrete balloon.

Truth is, it wasn’t over; it was about to get much worse.

No more than 5 feet away, I saw her sitting at another table, but not on a chair. She was sitting in the lap of a guy I’d never seen before.

As my crooked smile faded, I saw her smile growing. They were laughing, having a good time. There wasn’t room on that chair for a third person, even if I was only 100 pounds at the time. Up close and under the lights, she was even more beautiful than I imagined. Her boyfriend looked fresh from the pages of a J. Crew catalog, and I secretly wondered how I could find his address so I could mail him half of a cat. Half of his cat. I bet he smelled like Polo and had a closet full of rugby shirts with popped collars, each one sexier than the last.

What an asshole. I didn’t know the first thing about either one of them, but I knew he didn’t deserve her. Neither did I, really, but at least I knew who Larry Csonka was (see part 1). I stood there alone, watching the two of them like a car accident until the song mercifully ended.

Dejected and heartbroken for the second time tonight, I waded through the crowd of happy people, back to where I was talking with Vinny earlier. He was waiting for me, and he was also by himself. That made me feel a little better.

‘How’d it go?’ he asked me.

‘Um…couldn’t find her.’ I fired back, lying for about the tenth time that night. ‘How about you?’

‘She didn’t want to dance. What a bunch of crap.’

‘I hear you, dude. Oh well, still plenty of time tonight, right?’

‘You got it.’

We stood there, trying our damnest to save face after such a wicked turn of events. He eventually disappeared into the darkness of the dance floor, and I tried to get the image out of my head of J. Crew with my mystery girl on his lap.

I didn’t see her again that night, mainly because I didn’t want to. There were plenty of other ways I could torture myself if need be. Besides, the night was barely half-over. There was so much more left to do; so many people left to reject me.

In case you haven’t caught on by now, the Mystery Girl is now my wife.

Brace For Impact.
PART III – “Brace For Impact.”

What started out as a night of new beginnings and retribution was turning into another textbook punch in the ear for yours truly. The night was half over and I was still alone; mouth reeking with the familiar, sour taste of rejection and failure. It tastes sort of like an old penny, or a 9-volt battery doused in mustard and poop.

I was all set to call it a night. Cut my losses and try again next year. Preferably in a different school, in a different state or continent altogether, where people communicated in beeps and clicks. Take off this horrid blazer, go home, make myself some toast and sleep until 2pm. Damn.

Every time a camera snapped near me, it was like someone was visually documenting the most pathetic and forgettable four hours of my life. Friendly faces became twisted and gnarled caricatures under the lights, cementing the feeling of loneliness that can only be felt by a wiener teenager smack-dab in the center of a puberty-soaked angst session. The me that I am now hates the me that I used to be, but the old me had no choice but to continue being me until I became the me you know now.

Excuse me, that last line gave me a bit of a nosebleed. Give me a second.

Brace For Impact.

Just when I was ready to leave, Gail walked in and I got my swagger back.

‘Gail’ was a female friend of mine, like Sadie, that I knew mainly from the bus we rode together. We had partnered up for a few projects in Spanish class, in particular, making a paper mache’ pinata. We got to know each other a little more after spending a few long nights together in her bedroom, meticulously dipping newspaper in slop and constructing what could be considered the most terrifying clown pinata ever viewed. Candy or not, this thing was going to scare the hell out of some Mexican children.

She had told me she was bringing some people to the dance and wanted to introduce them to me and my friends. She strolled in with two ladies who were looking for company, or at least that’s what she was telling me at the time. We’ll call them ‘Kim’ and ‘Charlotte.’

You can’t blame me for being hesitant; even a bit scared. So far tonight, my record with mysterious women was 0-2, and I really saw no reason to go for the hat trick of rejection. I needed some insurance as to not go into this alone, so I went and grabbed ‘Vinny,’ who you remember from the prior ‘J. Crew’ incident. If something bad was going to happen to me, it was going to happen to him, too. Truth be told, nothing bad ever happened to Vinny, so I was using him as kind of a crude karma shield; a St. Christopher’s medal that smelled like french fries and Brute.

Kim was exactly what you want to receive out of a first impression. She was charming and alive, sporting bright-yet-cavernous eyes and high cheekbones. She talked almost exclusively with her hands, and wasn’t the least bit superficial. She seemed like a genuinely nice person, wearing a simple black dress with matching simple makeup. Within seconds of meeting her, I could tell that she was going to turn my night around. Heck, I might even make a new friend out of the deal.

Of course, Vinny was thinking the exact same thing for himself. Before I could even squeeze the word ‘Howdy!’ from my windpipe, Vinny had swept an arm around Kim and led her as far away from me as he possibly could. They were a blip on the radar within seconds.

For the countless time this evening, I stood alone with my jaw to the floor. It was at this point that Gail introduced me to Charlotte, and I got a first impression I will truly never forget.

The first thing that I noticed about Charlotte- or the first thing that anyone with eyes noticed about her that night- was the fact that she was wearing a massive, white neck brace. Her beautiful blue dress sparkled at every angle, her hair was expertly tossed and curled, her makeup was applied with wild teenage precision, and it was all overshadowed by the foam device wrapped tightly around her neck like a medically prescribed scarf.

She was also crying. Hard.

I looked to Gail, an obvious rictus of complete confusion on my face, then looked back to Charlotte and cocked my head to the side. ‘Charlotte, this is Ramone,’ Gail said, which was my Spanish class moniker at the time. She held out her hand and attempted to say ‘Hello, Ramone,’ but got choked up somewhere near the second syllable and buried her face into a soaked and tattered piece of Kleenex. I slowly brought my arm back to my side, fairly certain a handshake wasn’t in order.

You see, Charlotte had been having a bad week. She was injured in a car accident just days prior, which led to not only the neck brace, but a totaled vehicle. If that wasn’t awful enough, the day before the dance, she was savagely dumped by her boyfriend right after buying the very Homecoming dress she was wearing as she stood before me, sobbing and red-nosed. In reality, she was having a far worse night than me, which I thought was impossible up to this point.

Brace For Impact.

I did the only thing I could do. I fled the scene. I had problems of my own; I didn’t need to get bogged down with hers. That’s what the old me would have done; piss his entire night away talking to someone about some jerk she’s just dying to get back together with. I had a lifetime of experience dealing with people in this situation, and I knew that Charlotte was on a rebound so fresh that it was still flopping around on the plate. Not now. Not tonight. I left her and Gail to fend for themselves.

In the meantime, I talked with friends, told a few jokes and settled into a quiet routine. Every few minutes, though, I’d check to see how Charlotte was doing. I wouldn’t let her know I was keeping an eye on her, I just wanted to see if she was having a good time. She, of course, was not. Having now been abandoned by both Kim and Gail, I found her sitting alone, on a chair in the middle of the dancefloor, bawling hard and unable to turn her fractured head in any direction. Mascara was everywhere.

I tried to ignore her, I really did. However, every time I saw her, I knew exactly how she was feeling, and it weighed heavy on my conscience. My heart and body started to clash with each other, fighting about what sort of person I was destined to become. My body told me to stick with the plan and give up the soft guy I used to be. My heart was aching to make this girl feel better, even though I didn’t have the foggiest idea who she was and whether or not she was clinically insane. Lord knows I wasn’t the person to do it, but I knew that nobody else was going to.

Giving in to what I knew was right, I stepped up to the plate for a total stranger, perhaps as some divine retribution for all the crap I was being hit with that evening. I pulled a chair up to Charlotte- again, right in the center of the dancefloor- and we started to talk.

Well, sort of. She couldn’t turn her head, so she didn’t realize I was there for about 5 minutes. Thinking she wanted to be alone or ignored, I just sat next to her while she wiped her nose on her dress and sobbed. When she finally noticed me, then we started to talk.

Charlotte proceeded to vent and emote all over me. I had heard it all before; the boyfriend, the lack of attention, the secrets and whatnot. I did what I always did; I smiled, nodded and agreed. That was exactly what she needed, and after about 20 minutes of this, I coaxed out her first smile of the night.

In the distance, I caught Vinny and Kim dancing in the corner, laughing and swaying without a care. I secretly fantasized that he was being played like I had earlier in the evening, but to no avail. They couldn’t be any happier. That metallic taste started rising up in me again, as my night of becoming a new man was destroyed at the hands of the very person who wanted to change.

For the rest of the night, I stayed close to Charlotte. I got drinks, did anything to stop the crying and retrieved handfuls of Kleenex when I wasn’t successful. She continued to call me ‘Ramone’ right up until midnight, when it was time for everyone to go home. I led her back to where Kim and Gail (and Vinny) were congregated and hugged her goodbye, as she thanked me for being such a good listener.

It was the meanest thing anyone had said to me the entire night.

On the way home, I thought about what I expected from myself, versus what other people expected from me. In my quest for maturity, I almost reverted to my id in a feeble attempt to grow up. In the end, I realized that no matter what I thought I was missing out on, I had made the right choice. Many years from now, people won’t remember random men and greasy liars they made out with in corridors and stairwells, but they will remember the guy that drove them home when things got a little too out of hand. It was the role I was destined to play, and I was good at it. My attempts to change were ludicrous and worthy of the karma-like retribution I had received. I wasn’t supposed to change.

When I got home, I looked up at the cloud-free, moonlit sky and smiled. My terrible night was over, but I was a better man because of it.

As I put the key into the lock, I could hear the phone ringing inside the house. Knowing that it was almost 1am at this point, either it was someone that I knew, or someone was dead. I rushed in to answer it, mainly to spare myself from getting yelled at when the whole house woke up.

‘Hello?’

‘Hey! It’s Vinny! What’s up?’

‘Well, I just got home and I want toast and sleep. Why?’

Then I heard it. The sound of a Gail’s SUV tearing down my street with reckless abandon, waking neighbors and scattering wildlife in its powerful wake. I ran outside in time to see it crank hard into my driveway, side door flinging open. There sat Gail, Vinny, Kim and Charlotte.

‘Get in,’ said Charlotte.

Three Strikes, You're In.
PART IV – “Three Strikes, You’re In.”

I got in.

To this day, I don’t know why I did. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment. Maybe I’m a pushover. Maybe I wanted to make the most out of my rad blazer. Whatever it was, it won.

Gail was driving, with Vinny riding shotgun. Me, Kim and Charlotte lined the backseat with a flat storage area behind us (it was an old Suburban or something). Everyone was talking loudly at once, and I was doing my best to stay silent and still, perhaps meld into the upholstery and disappear altogether. Peeking over Kim, I could see that Charlotte wasn’t crying, which meant that I had done my job earlier on in the night. She stared straight ahead, which was all she could really do with her neck brace.

My anxiety finally got the best of me, and I peeped, “Where are we going?”

“Never you mind!” snapped Vinny.

At this point, it was about 1:30am, and I was thinking to myself what could possibly be open at this time of the night. Not only that, where were we going that wouldn’t seem ludicrous as we sported gowns and formalwear?

Of course. The bowling alley.

Three Strikes, You're In.

The local alley was open all hours of the night; it was a nice place for white 13-year olds with thuggish tendencies to smoke and brandish weaponry. It also seemed like a magnet for teenage lesbians for some reason. Beats me, all I knew for sure was that I wanted to be in bed right now.

As it turned out, we didn’t show up to bowl; we showed up to smoke and meet people I wouldn’t ever invite into my home. Gail knew some people that were far less pleasant than Kim and Charlotte, and every time one of these baggily-panted alley-dwellers got within a yard of me I clutched my wallet and stared at the ground. I avoided one ass-kicking tonight; I wasn’t in the mood to press my luck.

Me and Charlotte don’t smoke, and our eyes met up through the haze and stench of the deafening alley. She laughed and smiled, and I could only assume she understood the head-shakingly brilliant irony of this night. After everything the two of us did to make our evening perfect, here we were at 2am, in what was one of the least-classy places in the city, sporting $300 outfits and wishing we were anywhere else. Hours ago, we were strangers; now we were allies. She came over and attempted to take a seat next to me, walking as elegantly as someone could do with a tight dress and a busted neck. On the other side of the table, Kim sat on Vinny’s lap and inhaled her Camel Light.

Before Charlotte could sit down next to me, she stared over the top of my head, presumably at something very frightening that was going on behind me. Judging by the look on her face, I fully expected a wrecking ball to collide with the back of my head in microseconds, transforming my skull into malt powder.

I turned back quickly to see nothing serious; just a few people at the next table over. However, when I looked back at Charlotte, I could see her face change shades and the tears start to well.

Well, I’ll be damned. Sitting just feet away from me was her ex-boyfriend, the very man that broke up with her hours before Homecoming. The very man that should be sitting where I’m sitting. Instead of doing what he should have been doing tonight, he was sharing an intimate bowling alley moment with his All Star Lanes mistress.

Charlotte took off for the bathroom, with Gail and Kim in tow. “We’re leaving,” Gail said.

Three Strikes, You're In.

The next thing I can remember, we were all back in the truck, driving much faster and cursing much more than was really necessary. Charlotte was completely inconsolable and my night’s work was shot directly in the can. Earlier in the evening, I came to the conclusion that the Utility Man was the role I was destined to play, and what just transpired was clearly Exhibit A.

Everything I had regrettably speculated came true. When the night started, I was determined to become the kind of guy that Charlotte’s ex-boyfriend was. Essentially, an insensitive ass that made injured women cry. In reality, the greater good called, and if it meant wasting my life making others happy, then so be it. After sobbing for a while, Charlotte sunk into hyperventilating quietly in the corner, as I silently counted off the blocks to my house.

Kim should have been consoling her. Kim should have been doing her girlfriend duties. Kim should have done everything I had been doing for her all night. But once again, instead of stepping up for a friend, she left that job to a complete stranger. It turns out she wasn’t the person I thought she was when I met her.

No less than six inches from Charlotte’s face, Kim and Vinny started viciously making out.

For my money, there’s nothing sexier than getting to first base next to an injured woman in the midst of an emotional breakdown; I could barely hear her bawling over the two of them. Angry and more than a little disgusted, I reached over Kim’s wildly bobbing head and tapped Charlotte on the shoulder. Someone had to get her out of this wide-awake nightmare.

Obviously, she couldn’t turn her head to see me, so she just screamed “What!?” into the back of the passenger seat, where she had her face mashed. I had startled her. Eventually, I motioned for her to jump over the backseat and into the flatbed area in the back of the SUV.

This was how the night was going to end for me. Sitting in the storage area of a Chevy Suburban with a red-faced stranger who should be in traction. Still incoherent, she was sitting cross-legged in the flatbed with her dress twisted up around her waist. She either didn’t care or didn’t notice, and I did my best to divert my eyes.

“Thank you,” she blurted out. “You’re a good friend.” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I didn’t know her last name, and I would almost certainly never see her again after tonight.

“You’re welcome,” I whispered back as she threw her arms around me, instantly drenching my blazer with tears. In the corner of my eye, I saw Kim and Vinny happily stretched across the backseat, where minutes ago we were sitting. Reaching out over the top of the seat, I attempted to strangle the both of them to death, to no avail.

Charlotte pulled her head off of my shoulder and pressed her wet nose against my face. Hiccupping over words and shivering, she looked me in the eyes and said, “Do you want to kiss me?”

At this point, I was secretly wondering how injured I’d get if I popped the hatch and flung myself out of the vehicle. This was the worst possible thing she could have said. I would have more preferred it if she said, “This neck brace is actually a bomb that’s set to turn this stretch of highway into a smoldering crater in 3-2-1…”

Honestly, what would you do? On one hand, this was my opportunity to prove that the nice guy will get the nice girl in the end (hooray! vindication!). On the other hand, Vinny was proving that the jerkass always wins, and always has more fun along the way. Honestly, I wanted nothing to do with this situation; the last thing she needed on her fragile psyche was another loser who made decisions with his ween. On yet another hand, she might once again feel rejected if I said no, and that might actually hurt her far more than if I just went along with what she wanted. “Think man, think! What would Larry Csonka do?”

Finally, I saw through it and realized that she was just begging for acceptance, and only asked me because it’s what she thought I had wanted the entire night.

This was nowhere near the truth, of course; I was just doing my job.

So what happened?

If you must know, I told her the same story I’m telling you right now. About my night; about my ideas and projections for what I wanted to become as a man. I told her about my near ass-kicking at the hands of a vengeful boyfriend and sadistic woman. I told her about the mystery girl and how I felt when I saw that she already found someone to make her happy. I told her how I need to accept the role I chose to play, because it was what made me content, for better or worse. I told her that as much as people need a sympathetic ear, I need to get my attention and acceptance as well, and this was the best way to make myself happy. I told her that her suffering probably made my night, because it allowed me to feel important and mend wounds I has no business tending to in the first place. I told her that no matter what I became, I was still operating on selfish and egotistical morals. I told her that I was an asshole that deserved everything I had coming to me tonight, and she was better off never seeing me again.

She understood. She actually understood. The night suddenly was in perspective.

For the second time tonight, we pulled into my driveway. This time, however, I had to pop the trunk to get out. Vinny and Kim didn’t even realize that I was leaving, far too busy tearing at each other to peek their heads up. Charlotte smiled as the red brake lights reflected off of her face. We hugged and I told her that everything would be okay.

“You, too,” she said. It was the truest thing anyone had said to me all night.

It made sense. In my honest confession to her, I made her feel empowered and let her know what my motives were. On a night like this, she very much needed a guy like me to come along. A selfish guy, bent on feeling self-important and making an impact on someone. On a night like this, I very much needed a girl like her to come along. A train wreck of a girl so gruesome that the only thing that could save her from destruction was the complete and undivided attention of someone more sad than herself.

Guys like me are attracted to trauma because it makes us feel dominant and important, much like everything else we’re attracted to. It didn’t matter what our names were and what we looked like, as long as we possessed these qualities and spoke the same language. We weren’t necessarily special in each other’s eyes, we were just what the other needed to make it out of Homecoming with our dignity.

I never saw Charlotte again, and we made no attempts to contact each other. I think we knew that Homecoming happened for a reason, and it didn’t matter what happened afterwards.

So long, Charlotte. I hope your neck is feeling better. You saved my night; hopefully I saved yours.

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CDP Post Loaf – 5 Things Edition.

LULZ.

Welcome to a Monday edition of the CDP Post Loaf; consisting of 5 real post parts, but not necessarily considered an actual post. Enjoy.

1
. I finally got around to my Tire-Changing Drill last Thursday. As detailed in last week’s adventure, I was unable to help Sherry, my friend and new neighbor, when she was stuck with a flat tire. Vowing to never feel that worthless again, I staged a mock ‘blowout’ scenario in my garage, with Sherry and The Missus looking on. It was my opinion that if we all learned how to change a tire together, we would all learn something and grow that much more as adults.

The two ladies humored me and watched me struggle, knowing full well that they were never going to have to change a flat tire for as long as they were alive and pretty. Approximately 45 minutes later, I had cut my hand, blackened myself from the wrists down and messed my back up a little bit. But I did, however, learn a brand new skill. For those of you who already know how to change a tire, thank you for allowing me to catch up with you without making fun of me. I appreciate it; it was a pretty big day.

As I was driving to the office this morning, my tire flew off and into the Yahara River. It has not yet been located.

ABBA Gold.

2. I finally got around to buying ABBA Gold last week.

Oh yeah? I am? Really?

Well, suck it. I do what I want.

3. At 5’9″ and 156 pounds, I’m very content with my height and weight as a man. My main focus now is to take this lump of clay and mold it into something awesome; hopefully with laser beams of some sort. I’m trying to pay closer attention to what I put into my body and why I’m putting it there. I’m slowly changing my body’s metabolism and hope to pack a little more muscle onto my Welterweight frame.

In trying to stay the course and keep my eyes on the prize, so to speak, I’ve created a few ‘Motivational’ posters for myself. Just little reminders I can hang on the fridge and cubicle that remind me that I’m trying to get into better shape. Here are a few of them for your viewing pleasure.

Don't Be A Big Mouth!

I keep this one on the freezer. Reminds me that I don’t need Ben & Jerry’s every night of the week.

Empty Calories!

I keep this one at work to remind me that I don’t need to go out for lunch every day. It’s expensive and counterproductive to my goals.

During a sprint on the treadmill last week, my heartrate was at 182BPM. For those of you how don’t know what that means, just take your car onto the highway and floor the gas pedal until the engine explodes. I was literally seconds away from full-blown cardiac arrest, and I didn’t even know it until I put my hands on the little heart rate reader thing. That’s not cool; I’m not in shape.

Don't Make Me Cry!

I’m never more depressed than when I break a promise to myself. This one reminds me of that.

You Can Do It!

Sometimes, all you need is a little positivity. This one greets me every time I get into my car.

On the other hand, sometimes you need a good, swift kick in the pants.

Junk Food Is For Retards.

Okay, I’m really sorry about this one. Save the e-mail though, because you’re laughing your ass off right now. If you’re not, still… don’t send me e-mail. I feel really bad about it, seriously.

I really like how my hair was when these pictures were taken. Makes everything look all the more depressing and sad. You know, funny stuff! Don’t feel bad for me, though; I’m still smoking hot.

I Love You This Much!

Again, sometimes all you need is a little affirmation to make your days a little brighter.

I Kill You.

Other times…not as much. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Caught By The Fuzz.

4. Do yourself a favor this week and check out Hot Fuzz. It’s hands-down the funniest movie of the year, and significantly more violent than 300. What more can you ask for?

5. We have yet to see if the CDP had made the finalists list for the 2007 Hugo Cup. As soon as I get any word, I’ll post an announcement. As you may or may not know, the 2007 Hugo Cup recognizes the best Lost-themed pages in the blogosphere. I think you win a trophy. The end.

Thanks for spending your Monday with the CDP. Sound off in the comments section, and enjoy the beautiful day.

Lost Friday – "D.O.C."

Lost Friday - D.O.C.
Season 3 – Episode 18: “D.O.C.

Welcome to a very special Lost Friday. We have so much to discuss, I don’t even have time to finish this sente

Today was ‘Take Your Child To Work Day‘ at my office, which is almost as fun as ‘Please Kick Me In The Schwanz With A Steel-Toed Boot Day.’ I spent my afternoon cowering in fear and hiding all of my breakable toys, wondering what I did to deserve such punishment and sticky hands. I even ran to the store and bought a bunch of candy so they would stop asking me questions.

Boy, I had everything planned out. I had a 10 minute speech planned on the ins and outs of the Examination process. Ten minutes on everything they would ever need to know about taking a test. I was going to let them fill out their own Scantron sheets, print big stickers with their names on them; pretty much change their lives forever concerning the subject of examinations on a State level. I was going to be the one they remembered over the weekend and told all their school friends about. The cool one.

Instead, they screwed with my toys, took all my Fun-Size candy bars, chewed me up and spat me right the hell back out. When they left, I had to look down and see if they took my pants, too. The saddest thing was having to go back around my work area and throw away all the neat stuff I planned for them; stuff nobody would ever see. No; actually the saddest thing was being gang-raped by 13 children and having to smile the whole time. Connor tied my Slinky in a knot! They had my Lucky Cat and were waving it around over their heads! That thing cost me fifty bucks!

I’m going to tell my Mom that you said you hated her,” chimed one of the older girls. Seriously. I’m not even close to making that up.

Apart from that, I’m back in the gym again, and my muscles are all atrophied and sore. Every time I’m there, I’m forced to watch the personal trainer meticulously sculpt and preen his already chiseled frame. He’s over there, squatting 900 pounds over a pit of flames, and I’m squirting out pee trying to benchpress a barbell with no weight on it. Not cool, buddy.

This week, I wanted to do something a little different than usual for Lost Friday. the episode itself was interesting and captivating enough, but some moments were more important than others. For those of you who want me to run down the hard-nosed facts, these Cliff’s Notes should get you all caught up:

Do Not Look Directly Into The Roundhouse.

IN FLASHBACKS:
1. Jin’s mom = Blackmailing whore.
2. Sun = Unfaithful; not sure who the baby daddy is.
3. Jin = Paying off Sun’s debt through murder and Roundhouse kicks.

ON THE BEACH:
4. Jin = Sun’s baby daddy.
5. Sun = Probably gunna die.
6. Juliet = Still evil. Hates Ben.

AT THE PARACHUTE SITE:
7. Mikhail = Not dead. Repairs woman’s lung.
8. Jin = Really wants that satellite phone.
9. Parachutist = “Everyone on Flight 815 is dead.”
10. Jin = Did I mention the Roundhouse kick?

Happy? Good; now let’s talk about something else. Something wonderful. Something that could possibly go down in history as the Single Greatest Moment In The History Of Lost.

I’m referring, of course, to Jin’s Roundhouse Kick.

The Roundhouse Is Not Your Friend.

Completely unnecessary and absolutely out of nowhere, Jin unloaded on Mikhail with the intensity of a Korean Chuck Norris, sending Patchie to the mat and scoring one for the dude with the unfaithful wife. It was over-the-top, pandering and possibly borderline racist, but it was also pure gold.

To fully appreciate and dissect this most wonderful moment, we need to delve into some history. What exactly is a Roundhouse Kick? Where did it come from? Did the word ‘awesome’ even exist before the Roundhouse Kick was invented? I need answers!

Slow down, fat ass. I’m getting there.

From Wikipedia: “A roundhouse kick (also known as a round kick or turning kick) is a kick in which the attacker swings his or her leg around in a semicircular motion, striking with the front of the leg or foot. This type of kick is utilized in many different martial arts and is popular in both non-contact and full-contact martial arts competitions. The kick has many variations based on stance, leg movement, striking surface, and the height of the kick.”

In Popular Culture: “Possibly due to the move’s combination of motion and power- the attacker spins fully around, which makes for a powerful-looking attack- it became a prerequisite feature in many fighting video games and a common ‘finishing move’ in martial arts sequences in film and television. The latter case is best exemplified in Walker: Texas Ranger, in which the lead character (played by Chuck Norris) almost always defeated the episode’s villain with a reverse roundhouse kick, inevitably to the head, shown twice from different angles.”

Now that you’re all caught up with the most devastating and amazing Move in the History of Devastating and Amazing Moves, let’s get into the particular kick in question: Jin’s.

Mikhail accidentally walked into the scene in the jungle, as Jin, Hurley, Charlie & Desmond were all trying to figure out how to save the woman that fell out of the sky just minutes earlier. After trying to make a break for it (and amazingly not running into any trees with his horrible depth perception), Jin catches up with him and promptly hands him his ass on a platter.

This is one of the many reasons I like Jin. Sure, he could have just knocked Mikhail out with a straight right hand, or even a spinning backfist if he was feeling frisky.

But no. Oh, hell’s no.

Jin wanted to send this dude a message. Why? I have no idea. Maybe he was just in a pissy mood from standing out in the rain all day. He stepped back, thought about it for a second, and said to himself, “Nope, I think I’m just going to kick this turd’s head clean off.

Make It A Roundhouse Night!

Thy will be done.

Personally, I rewound my DVR and watched it 4, maybe even 5 times. With a show like Lost that prides itself on logical explanations for out-of-this-world scenarios, I couldn’t think of a single reason why Jin would unleash a move like that unless he just wanted to look awesome.

And he did. And so did his wife.

Of course, there are some negative connotations to what we’ve just witnessed. There’s a chance; a good chance, that we may never seen anything as awesome on Lost ever again. Some experts say that they should have saved the Roundhouse kick until the Season Finale or maybe even the Series Finale. The experts say that the only way to outdo one Roundhouse kick is by having the entire cast do Roundhouse kicks at the same time. Clearly, this is an idea the producers have been kicking around for Sweeps, and I really can’t blame them.

Also, there’s the notion that Lost might have jumped the shark with this one amazing frame of action. I mean, in the past, this scene would be something I’d write about on here as a joke; something that never happened in the actual episode, but something I found funny nonetheless. Now that things are happening on the show that I would normally use to mock the show, I’m pretty sure the Lost universe is set to implode inside of itself. You cannot parody and satirize something that already has gotten to the point where it’s satirizing itself.

Step Into The House Of Round.

Sure, to you it was just a Roundhouse kick. To me, it was the most important moment of the season.

Next week’s episode is titled “The Brig.” It will be Locke-centric and cover his last few days on the island, picking up right where we last left him with his Father. It will contain NO off-island flashbacks; a first for the show.

So yeah, after writing 17 of these things in a row, I’m kind of taking a mulligan. Thanks for understanding, kids. Have a good weekend.

-theCDP.

Season 3 Preview
Season 3 – Episode 1 Review
Season 3 – Episode 2 Review
Season 3 – Episode 3 Review
Season 3 – Episode 4 Review
Season 3 – Episode 5 Review
Season 3 – Episode 6 Review
Season 3 – Episode 7 Review
Season 3 – Episode 8 Review
Season 3 – Episode 9 Review
Season 3 – Episode 10 Review
Season 3 – Episode 11 Review
Season 3 – Episode 12 Review
Season 3 – Episode 13 Review
Season 3 – Episode 14 Review
Season 3 – Episode 15 Review
Season 3 – Episode 16 Review
Season 3 – Episode 17 Review

A Life Without Tires.

A Life Without Tires.

At 6 o’clock this morning, I heard my wife’s cell phone ringing.

Wiping the crust out of my eyes, I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming and rolled out of bed. Just seconds ago, I was celebrating my incredible and inspirational win at the PBA Championships, rolling yet another perfect 300 game; my 19th perfect game overall. This occasion was all the more historic, however, because I had been shot in the ankle by a rival bowler just prior to the tournament. I saw through the pain and persevered though, hoisting my trophy while “We Are The Champions” played and I was carried off by my leigons of fans. This was all happening in slow-motion, of course.

Yes, this is what I dream about. But I was awake now, and the phone was still ringing.

We didn’t make it out to the phone in time, so the call was dropped. As we both goose-stepped around the kitchen, hypothesizing as to who it might have been on the other line, my cell phone began to ring. Clearly, someone was trying to get a hold of us now, and it couldn’t wait until after The Price Is Right. Hell, it couldn’t even wait until Regis & Kelly.

I wonder who died,” I said to the Missus before I answered.

People don’t call you at 6am with good news. It’s always bad. Trust me, since the birth of the telephone, nobody has ever been rushed out of bed because their friend won a tin of jellybeans at the County Fair two towns over. That kind of story can wait until after brunch. Nope, I’ve never gotten a call between the hours of 2 and 6am that I’ve looked forward to, nor will I ever.

Naturally, I was cringing when I said hello. I was waiting for the sobs of a grieving relative on the other end of the line. Either that, or the sound of a Federal Marshall informing me that they were in my driveway, and I should just come out with my hands up before they put a large hole in me. I even checked my bare chest for the red laser dot.

Hello?

Hello!” chimed a voice far too cheery for an early-morning phone call.

Um, hello? Who’s this?” I said back. I was so groggy and out of my element, it could have been my doppelganger on the other line, and I still wouldn’t have recognized the voice.

It’s Sherry.”

Sherry who? Are you a telemarketer? Because if you are, you just ruined an awesome Bowling Dream, lady. You should be ashamed–

I hate you.”

As it turned out, it was our lifelong friend (we signed a contract) and new neighbor, Sherry. Apparently, she destroyed her tire on a pothole yesterday, and awoke to find it flat just before she was heading out to work.

I was quite aware of the pothole in question. We have a PetSmart on the East Side of town that has nothing short of a living, breathing sinkhole in the parking lot. I’ve seen ice cream trucks disappear into this thing, and Sherry thought she could just speed up and go over the top of it.

Now, her right front tire was shredded and she was late for work. It needed to be changed, but she didn’t know how. Ruh-roh!

Sherry’s husband Ben was working two hours north at the time, so she called me. I get the feeling that she must have called everyone she had ever met in her last 22 years on Earth before she settled on dialing my number asking for automotive assistance. I’d rather attempt to explain the ending of 2001: A Space Oddesey to a dog before even considering popping the hood on a car.

Hey, do you know how to change a tire?

So, there I was. Standing in the kitchen in my boxer shorts, six in the morning, approaching a huge crossroads in my path to becoming the least dependable person on the Goddamn planet.

Um….no.”

Yeah, that’s right. I never learned how to change a tire. Oh, I know I should learn, you can save the lecture. It just has never come up until now. I always figured that when I finally got a flat tire, I’d just leave the car for dead and settle into whatever town I happened to be in at the time. Maybe get a job at the local grocery store; start a new life. A life without tires.

You don’t know how to change a tire? But you’re a man!

Yeah, but just barely. Here, talk to my wife.

My Father-In-Law could change a tire in his sleep, so we arranged to have Sherry call him up. If anything, he’d tell her to call a tow truck and shuffle back to bed, much like me and the Missus were about to do. Guilt and feelings of worthlessness were plaguing me, but I didn’t know how to change a tire, therefore I had no way of really helping her out.

Trust me, she did not want me to come over there and start tinkering with stuff. Within 30 seconds, I’d have a pulled groin, the bumper would be completely removed for some reason, and two other tires would be flat. I was actually doing her a favor by leaving her out to dry.

As I was getting ready to go to work, I was feeling like a real douche nozzle. I felt like I had let down a friend that had a certain amount of faith and respect in me. I mean, if you let someone down once, chances are they’re not going to ask you again if they need help. It may have been the easy way out, but I honestly didn’t want that. I may be functionless and lazy on the surface, but deep down, I want to be the person you call when you get locked out of your apartment. When you need a pickle jar opened. When you need to put your cat to sleep. I want to be that guy, but I refuse to take the necessary steps to be in that position of responsibility.

Looking in my bathroom mirror, I looked back at myself and scowled. I was a turd.

An hour later, I pulled out of my driveway and headed off to work. Down the street, I saw Sherry, still sitting in her car, looking pathetic and talking on her phone. Sure enough, her tire was still seriously flat; and sure enough, I still didn’t know what to do. I pulled in to let her know that I was a monolithic loser, and she shouldn’t ask me to do anything for her ever again.

As it turned out, she was waiting on a tow truck, and she would be charged a little for them to come out and throw the spare on. However, because she was a Saturn owner, they would replace and take care of all the other stuff at the dealership for free. I guess there are some perks to driving one of the worst cars on the road today (don’t tell her I said that; her car is way nicer than mine). In the end, she was just a little late for work, and probably out about 20 bucks.

This was a big deal for me, though. Karma isn’t good to me, and I knew that this meant that I was going to get a flat tire of my own…and soon. I’d probably deserve it, too.

Furthermore, this meant that I needed to start accepting more adult responsibilities now that, you know, I’m 25 stupid years old, and I’ve lived on my own since I was 18. How I’ve made it this long without crashing and burning is beyond me, and I realized that I didn’t want to find out.

I buy self-cleaning litter boxes because I’m too lazy to provide basic turd-scooping needs for my cats. I live in apartments and condos because I don’t want to do any lawn care or landscaping. If anything breaks in the house, I call a maintainence guy to come over and fix it. The last time I looked under the hood of my car, it was to change the brake fluid, and it took me over 5 minutes just to find the right hole to dump the liquid into. I have jumper cables in my trunk that still have the ‘Happy Birthday!’ tags on them, and my wife already knows not to call me when something goes wrong.

For God’s sake, is there anything more unappealing and sad than a guy who can’t do these things? I mean, it’s absolutely pathetic. This flat tire was the wake-up call I so desperately needed to function at the base level as every other guy in the world. Yes, it took a borderline-emergency situation to make me realize that I was completely unreliable.

Hey, if you need a Haiku or poem written, you know who to call! Can’t remember the name of that one guy that used to be on that one show? I’ll be there in a jiffy! For everything else, forget about it! You know I can’t get my hands dirty! So what if I only live 50 yards away! Hell, do you know how long it took me to write this entire story? An hour. I can yank a hilarious and meaningful essay out of absolutely nothing in less than 60 minutes, but I can’t work a freaking wrench?

DAMN!

Yes it was just a flat tire. Sure, it wasn’t even my flat tire. But it made me a better person.

After work tonight, I’ll hit the gym for an hour. Then I’ll spend an hour in my garage, forcing myself to become a tire-changing machine.

It’s the least I can do.

HOW TO CHANGE A TIRE:

1. Find a safe spot to pull over. If you’re on the freeway, pull over as far onto the shoulder as you can. Don’t park in the middle of a curve, where approaching cars can’t see you from far away. Also choose a flat spot; jacking up your car on a hill can be a disaster. If you have a manual transmission, leave your car in gear. Be sure to set your parking brake!

2. Turn on your hazard lights. Get the jack, wrench, and spare tire from the trunk of the car and bring them over to the tire that is flat. Use other tools or supplies if needed.

3. Use the wrench to loosen the lug nuts. You may need to remove the hubcap. Don’t remove the lug nuts at this point; simply loosen them by turning the wrench to the left (counter-clockwise). If the lug nuts are really tight, try placing the wrench on the nut and standing on the wrench arm to use your full weight on it. You can also try hitting the wrench arm with a rock.

4. Use the jack to lift the vehicle off the ground. Different car models may have different places to put the jack; consult your owner’s manual for specific locations. Once the jack is securely in the correct spot, jack up the car until the tire is about six inches off the ground.

5. Remove the lug nuts and pull the tire off the car. Make sure to place the lug nuts in a pile that won’t get scattered, and pull the tire straight toward yourself to remove it from the wheel base.

6. Place the spare on the car. Line up the lug nut posts with the holes in the spare, and push the spare all the way onto the wheel base until it can’t go any farther.

7. Put on the lug nuts. Don’t put them on tightly, just make sure they’re on enough for the spare to stay on the car for a moment.

8. Lower the car back to the ground. Use the jack to bring the car back down to ground level. Remove the jack from underneath the car.

9. Make sure the lug nuts are tightened. With the car back on the ground, you can now tighten the lug nuts. Rather than tightening them one by one in order, start with one lug nut, tighten it about 50%, move to the opposite nut (across the circle) and tighten that one about the same amount. Keep tightening opposite lug nuts gradually in turn until each lug nut is as tight as it can be.

10. Put your flat tire and tools back in your trunk. Make sure you don’t leave anything on the side of the road.

CDP Wayback Machine – DWI Edition.

Dave Thomas Was A Saint, You Ass!
(“Would You Like Lies With That?” – Originally Published 05/02/06.)

Last week, I made a late-night run to Wendy’s for a baked potato. I wasn’t necessarily in the mood for a baked potato; I was just in the mood for anything I could digest and convert into waste matter.

At the time, I hadn’t gone grocery shopping in approximately eight months and was beginning to eat things I found in the windowsills. My sheer laziness and apathy for all things foodal prevented me from driving the sixty yards to the market and filling up on whatever my hungry heart desired. Instead, it made more sense to waste money and eat garbage until my body could take no more.

Usually it was Taco Bell that got my business late at night, but tonight I was in the mood for a lawn bag full of french fries, handed to me by someone who spoke english.

I pulled into the barren Wendy’s parking lot with the intention of using the drive-thru. As I went around back I was recklessly cut off out of nowhere by a busted-ass minivan. The van had used the side entrance and floored it just to get in front of me. Certainly, this person was exceedingly hungry; far too famished to wait the extra fifteen seconds it would have taken me to grab my items and hit the road. I felt bad for him, in a way. You really shouldn’t have to wait so long for nourishment that it becomes a life-or-death thing, especially in a country that sells cheese in a spray can.

A little angry, but more confused than anything, I waited behind him as he slurred loudly into the menu box. Watching the reflection in the van’s side mirror, I saw that it was some mustached, 20-year-old turd, eyes glazed over by the gallon of gin he washed down shortly before taking the wheel.

Fantastic. Maybe it was better that he was in front of me.

I shook my head and reached down to grab my wallet when I saw my dashboard start to illuminate. I looked up just in time to see the van backing up towards my car. Alone at the time, my lips parted and I squeaked ‘whhaasaa?!’ as I threw my wallet down and fumbled with the gearshift to get the hell out of this guy’s way. I backed up about a yard when he finally stopped and went forward, ending up right where he started, just in front of the speaker.

I kept my distance. This man was so hungry he was clearly capable of anything.

I was just getting my bearings together when I saw the driver waving something out of his window. What could it be? A gun? A knife? A more focused glance revealed that it was a $20 bill, which he was thrusting towards the speaker.

Read that again; let it wash all over you. He was presenting his money to the magic voice in the box. I jest you not.

After about ten seconds of this, he must have realized that the menu display wasn’t going to take his money in exchange for food, so he pulled up to the window. By the time I made my order and got up behind him, an actual human being had finally confiscated this fool’s cash and hopefully his license.

I guess what the guy wanted was going to take a while, so the cashier told him to pull out front, and they would bring it out to him when it was ready. If he was as drunk as I thought he was, chances are he ordered the entire left quadrant of the menu, only to eat one fry and puke in the bag once he received his meal.

So, the cashier tells him to pull out front, the guy nods, rolls up his window and calmly drives away. Right out into the street and down the highway. Keep in mind that he already paid.

I’ll bet that sometime later in the evening, that guy’s going to say to his friends, “I’m hungry, we should go to Wendy’s!”

Lost Friday – "Catch-22."

Lost Friday - Catch 22.
Season 3 – Episode 17: “Catch-22.”

Another Lost Friday is upon us. We have much to discuss.

If I may, I wanted to start this week’s show off on an important note. I’m going to get serious for a moment, so just bear with me for a quick second and I’ll get back to the poop jokes before you know it.

You know, when you wish for something to happen for so long, you sometimes lose track of the overall goal, and just end up living to wish. The desired outcome disappears from your head, and all you remember is that you’re waiting for something special to happen. And if you’re lucky enough to have your wish come true, you may find yourself not knowing how to feel about it afterwards.

This is exactly how I felt when I saw Sanjaya leave American Idol on Wednesday night.

See You In Hell...From Heaven.

I was not one of the party crashers. I never thought this was funny; I never thought this was cute. I never once thought that it would be a good idea to potentially ruin the careers of truly talented individuals in the name of a cheap publicity stunt. Sure, this kind of rapscallion chaos sounds like it’s right in my wheelhouse, but this act wore thin pretty damn quick for me. For over 3 months now, nothing would have put a sweeter taste in mouth than watching this joke of a man wet his pants on stage and slice his wrists from stem to stern with the keys to his new Ford Focus.

It’s not his fault!” my wife would remind me. “It’s not his fault he’s still on! He doesn’t know he’s terrible!”

Bull-honky.

So there I was, staring at my TV screen, watching Sanjaya and Lakisha stand next to each other in the Bottom 2. I was shaking my head in disbelief, as I knew for sure that Lakisha- a beautiful woman and an amazing vocalist- was about to be sent home in favor of some vapid, brittle, immature fruit.

I put my hands to my temples and waited for the bad news. The headache was already fast approaching.

Seconds later, after what had to be the biggest round of applause for a kicked-off contestant ever, it was over. Sanjaya would never bother me with his tired routine again, and I could look forward to the smooth vocal stylings of Miss Sexual Chocolate for at least 1 more week.

With American Idol setting the stage, I was hoping that Lost would carry on the Good News for the evening. Sure, we had some pointless sex, a gratuitous shot of an arrow piercing Charlie’s neck like, 30 times, and even some ping-pong for good measure.

So…did it deliver?

Set down your bongs (4/20, duuuude!), sit up straight and let’s get down to business, courtesy of The 10 Haiku Recap!

10 Haiku Recap!

FLASHBACKS:

Desmond is a Monk
That likes to get drunk on wine.
That sounds about right.

Desmond stood up Ruth,
Who he had dated for years.
Because Jesus rules!

Desmond meets Penny
After losing his Monk job.
Refuses to shave.

Getting drunk on wine
To me, is about as fun
As puking all night.

ON THE ISLAND:

After a vision,
Desmond thinks Penny will show.
Chuck eats an arrow.

Nothing gets more sex
Than a Phil Collins mix tape.
‘In the air tonight.’

Desmond changed his plan;
Deciding to save Charlie
Was a bad idea.

Helicopter crash?
They knew where the island was,
After the hatch blew.

Sawyer questions Kate
About why she slept with him.
WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?

A new castaway
Made her way to the island.
…That’s just what we need.

You know, this episode may have been a little hit-and-miss, but it contained at least one thing that’s inarguably awesome.

Of course, I’m referring to Desmond’s beard.

5 Awesome Things.....

5 Awesome Things…..About Desmond’s Beard.

1 – It keeps away all moisture from his face, as it secretes nothing but Thompson’s Water Seal.

2 – It beat Hurley in a game of ping-pong.

3 – Desmond’s Beard was actually the first choice to play the lead role in 300.

This Is Madness!

4 – When he last shaved, Oceanic 815 crashed. The Beard claims it was just ‘proving a point.’

5 – It got Sun pregnant. From the island. When she was still in Korea.

Wow…..that is pretty awesome, even for that fly, funky-fresh Beard.

Woah! Stand back! Catch myself! It’s time to Break It Down!

Break It Down!

4 – If I would have known Kate in high school, I would have called her…well, I can’t really repeat what I would have called her then, but let’s just say that it rhymes with “Mock Please.” I mean, she had her chance with Jack, then chose Sawyer, but wants Jack again because she’s jealous!

Make up your Goddamn mind! How old are you, 12? Next thing you know, she’ll get Hurley to pass Jack a ‘Check Yes Or No’ note during 3rd period Study Hall.

Look Kate, you’re probably the best looking single woman on the island, so if you want to sleep with someone, just ask them nicely and they’ll probably say yes. Lay off of this pity crap and get down to bid-nis! Sweeps is just around the corner, and nobody likes a whiner. Besides, Claire already has that market sewn up.

8 – Desmond’s flashback? Pointless. For the first season and a half, the flashbacks served as a way to tie the past and present together into a nice package, while creating character development and establishing an episodic theme. At this point, all that’s left is the theme, and it’s wearing pretty thin.

Desmond as a monk? Great! What else you got?

15 – At the end of Season 2, Penny’s hired researchers claimed that they found the island. Apparently, they did, because one of them just fell out of the sky on Wednesday. Even though I don’t know how much depth our new character will have (or how long she’ll survive), at least it drives the point home that Penny is looking for Desmond, and doing a pretty good job of it.

Oh, and Penny’s dad? Totally in charge of the island. He put Desmond here specifically so he would leave his daughter alone. Bank on it.

16 – I hate to go back to the sex thing again, but something has been really bothering me ever since Ana Lucia and Sawyer first hooked up. It’s basically the complete lack of any basic safe sex procedures. You see any DHARMA prophylactics in anyone’s wallet? Any DHARMA-Brand RU-486 lying around? Nope. You’d think that Sawyer would have make a joke about it at some point if it existed, right?

Forget the smoke monster. If people keep sleeping with Sawyer, it’s gunna be the Clap that eventually drives everyone to their doom.

And to all those kids out there that are starting to develop more emotional relationships with their significant others…..always remember to wrap it up, every time.

The CDP Cares!

23 – Every mixtape should contain the following 5 songs, regardless of theme or mood:

a) In The Aeroplane Over The Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
b) Holiday by Weezer
c) Sweet Talkin’ Woman by Electric Light Orchestra
d) A Life Less Ordinary by Ash
e) Lonely Stranger by Mediocre At Best*

If that doesn’t help you in the relationship department, then you probably need a new relationship. Or a new shirt; whatever’s easier and more cost-effective.

(*The entire Mediocre At Best album is now available on iTunes. It was recorded when I was 17 years old, so don’t laugh.)

42 – Yeah, I got nothing. You should hang out with me in Stickam more.

Divert your eyes! Cover your ears! Nerds should take nerdier shelter! Here comes The Preview!

Tinker Cat Pwns You.

4 – Episode 18 will be titled “D.O.C.” It will be Jin & Sun-centric. Expect funny faces and repeated shots of people examining Sun’s not-at-all-pregnant tummy abound. The episode title refers to “Date Of Conception,” which will probably happen when Jin’s out of town.

8 – The official press release from ABC reads: “After discovering that all of the Others’ pregnant women died before giving birth on the island, an extremely reticent Sun allows Juliet to examine her, and uncovers the identity of the unborn child’s father. Meanwhile, Desmond allows an unlikely nemesis to help save the life of a new, mysterious island inhabitant.

Yeah, Sun’s going to find out who the baby daddy is. My guess is that Jin will be left in the dark for awhile.

15 – Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz say: “We will find out that Sun has a secret feat that she is hiding from Jin, and that will not only be voiced, but answered. During the flashback, you will get a taste of them as newlyweds and kind of see where he was before he started to be Mr. Paik’s head henchmen.

My guess is that the big reveal for this week will be the father of Sun’s child. Nothing too much to see here, as we start to get into ratcheting up the tension for the Season Finale.

16 – With just 4 episodes left this season, I would hope to get some sort of huge reveal concerning Mr. Paik’s association with the island, but that’s probably too much to ask for. My best guess is that we’ll get some filler, little leeway with the ‘New Arrival’ storyline, and the Baby Daddy resolution. Nothing much, but hey, it’s a Jin & Sun episode. What more do you want?

23 – The BIG news is that Episode 19 (the one after this one) will mark the first time in Lost history that there will be NO FLASHBACKS in the episode. That’s right, Episode 19 will feature nobody and flash back to nothing. You heard it here….second.

42 – Yeah, I’ve got nothing. You should hang out with me in Stickam more.

Well, there you have it. Another Lost Friday in the books. Please start the discussion in the comments section, and send all erotic photography to communistdance@yahoo.com. If you want to support the CDP, you can always make a donation or buy some merch, both of which can be done up in the sidebar. Once you’re done telling me how much cooler Lost is with the CDP around, make sure to head over to The Coconut Internet and say hello.

As always, here are links to every Lost Friday this season. Enjoy in moderation, as they are far too tender and juicy to be handled in one setting. Have a good weekend; I’m going mini-golfing.

-theCDP.

Season 3 Preview
Season 3 – Episode 1 Review
Season 3 – Episode 2 Review
Season 3 – Episode 3 Review
Season 3 – Episode 4 Review
Season 3 – Episode 5 Review
Season 3 – Episode 6 Review
Season 3 – Episode 7 Review
Season 3 – Episode 8 Review
Season 3 – Episode 9 Review
Season 3 – Episode 10 Review
Season 3 – Episode 11 Review
Season 3 – Episode 12 Review
Season 3 – Episode 13 Review
Season 3 – Episode 14 Review
Season 3 – Episode 15 Review
Season 3 – Episode 16 Review